How to make money fast in No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky
No Man's Sky (Image credit: Hello Games)

When you're not out exploring the awe-inspiring worlds of No Man's Sky, you're likely looking for a way to make a quick buck. Nearly every upgrade in the game will cost you units unless you want to grind long hours and search for rare materials. If you just can't wait that long to earn millions and buy your favorite starship, here's how to earn a ton of money fast.

Exploit the trade market (Beyond/No Man's Sky 2.0)

Every galaxy has a space station, and every space station has a Galactic Trade Market terminal. An easy way to exploit the market is to find a Superconductor blueprint (a Superconductor itself sells for about 2 million units) and then craft the required materials, which cost a fraction of the price. You're essentially spending a small amount of money to make millions once you sell back the finished product. Just rinse and repeat and you're good to go.

Note: Make sure you don't do this too often in a single galaxy or it will drive the price down. You'll need to hop around a lot to exploit the system.

The required materials to craft a Superconductor are as follows:

  • Nitrogen Salt – 50,000 units
  • Thermic Condensate – 50,000 units
  • Enriched Carbon – 50,000 units
  • Semiconductor – 320,000 units

Now here's where the process will get a bit different from what you may expect, or at least, it's the same process with a few extra steps added. After update 1.53, you can no longer purchase Enriched Carbon, Nitrogen Salt, and Thermic Condensate from other merchants aboard space stations. Meaning there isn't a super quick way to get these materials like there used to be other than by crafting them. Luckily, crafting them isn't too hard as you can still purchase the raw materials required to do so. This still appears to be the case as of its Beyond update.

Here's what each requires:

  • Enriched Carbon: 250 Radon and 50 Condensed Carbon
  • Nitrogen Salt: 250 Nitrogen and 50 Condensed Carbon
  • Thermic Condensate: 250 Sulphurine and 50 Condensed Carbon

You may not be able to get the crafted materials from merchants anymore, but they still sell plenty of raw materials that you can use to craft whatever you need. Carbon is one of the most common elements you'll come across, and its condensed form is easily found on planets as well, or can be processed from Carbon through a Portable Refiner.

The Radon, Nitrogen, and Sulphurine can then be purchased from merchants for a small price. Nitrogen and Sulphurine are fairly cheap themselves at around 25 units a pop. Purchasing 250 will set you back a little over 6,000 units, which is nothing. Radon itself is around the same price, though a bit more rare to come across, but it can also be refined from Sulphurine if you're having trouble finding merchants who sell it.

Combing the Nitrogen Salt and Thermic Condensate will produce a Semiconductor, which needs to be combined with Enriched Carbon to form a Superconductor.

Since you'll be crafting more than usual, you'll need the required blueprints for each.

How to find blueprints

The steps required to find these blueprints out in the wild are relatively simple, but may need to be repeated a few times as it's up to chance.

  1. Build a Signal Booster.
  2. Use a Navigation Point to scan for Secure Frequencies.
  3. Once it locates a Manufacturing Facility, head to that waypoint.
  4. Stay in your ship and blast open the door, circling around to avoid Sentinel forces as necessary.
  5. Enter the building and interact with the center console.

At this point you'll be asked to solve a quick problem by choosing one of the options it gives you. For example, if the facility's machines are overheating, you'll need to choose the option to flush them out with coolant. You'll then receive an item after bringing the facility back online. If it's not any of the blueprints you need, you'll need to use your Signal Booster again to search for another Manufacturing Facility. Eventually you'll come across the correct blueprints.

I managed to luck out and find Semiconductor and Enriched Carbon blueprints at the first couple of Manufacturing Facilities I hit up, but it could take you the better part of a few hours to find all of the blueprints. Still, it beats spending a few weeks. This is the most tedious process, but once you find the blueprints you'll have them for good, so you won't need to keep searching for more. The hard part is over.

Can't find Navigation Points? Scan your surroundings and you'll eventually come across some. They look like small blocks/diamonds. They are also common on space stations and in buildings where they are labelled as Encrypted Navigation Data. There's a chance you could either get Nav Points or Nanite Clusters from interacting with them.

Harvest eggs

No Man's Sky NEXT introduced an alien enemy called Biological Horrors. They're high damage, high health monsters that pop up when you try to harvest their larval core, which can be acquired from Whispering Eggs found throughout various planets, especially nuclear and toxic ones riddled in radiation, near abandoned buildings. This method is a bit slower than the above, and it doesn't offer as good a return on investment, but it's another way to make some fast money.

To complete this method the easy way, you'll need to make sure you have enough materials to craft a Base Computer and enough Carbon to make four walls.

  1. Find Whispering Eggs. (Not to be confused with Humming Eggs)
  2. Set up your Base Computer.
  3. Build four walls around the batch of eggs.
  4. Shoot an egg outside of the walls and wait for the Biological Horrors to crawl out of the ground.
  5. Use your jetpack to fly inside of the walls.
  6. Harvest your larval cores in peace.

Biological Horrors cannot climb or jump into your secure area once the walls are up, so you're safe to gather the larval core.

Of course you can always opt to do it the hard way and skip building the protective walls if you're a masochist. Just watch out for the swarm of Xenomor- I mean Biological Horrors.

Scan planets

The following methods are slower and not as rewarding as the previous two, but they're the quickest if you're looking to make a few thousand units because you're short on cash at the moment and don't need millions to purchase whatever item you're eyeing. These are less about hoarding millions and more about getting small lumps of cash as quick as possible.

Almost every planet will have its own species of flora and fauna that can be scanned for units. Finding a new animal or mineral can snag you a couple hundred to a couple thousand units at a time.

Even better, scan planets for Ancient Ruins. At these locations you'll find items known as Gravitino Balls, which sell for several thousand or more a piece. Sentinels will attack once you gather one, so be prepared for a fight

No Man's Sky: Beginner's Guide

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.